BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - For the first time ever, Louisianans can safely dispose of vaping products at this year’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
The event is held twice per year and thousands of pounds of prescription drugs are typically collected to help prevent drug abuse in the U.S. In 2018, Louisiana hosted 131 take-back sites statewide and collected 8,415 lbs of unused and unwanted medications.
This year’s addition of vaping products comes amid a national outbreak of lung injury associated with these products. As of Oct. 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,479 cases and 33 deaths related to vaping. In Louisiana in particular, there have been 25 cases reported associated with the outbreak. While patients have reported a history of using vaping products, the exact cause of injuries is still under investigation.
Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) are encouraging people to participate in the drug take-back day to support the state’s efforts to end the opioid crisis. LDH says in 2018, more than 450 Louisianans died of an opioid overdose, which was a 13.5% increase over 2017, which up until that point, was the highest year on record.
To safely dispose of vaping products and unused and expired medications: